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GAME DAY: Calgary Stampeders at Ottawa Redblacks

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HOME SWEET HOME: It remains surprising the lack of success the Redblacks have had in their home stadium. They’ve lost their last six games at TD Place and are a stinky 2-17 at home from 2019-22. Of course, that was then and this is now. The Redblacks have played pretty well at home in three home losses in 2022 — 19-12 to Winnipeg, 34-31 to BC and 40-33 to Montreal. And, now with win No. 1 of the season in their pockets, they’re hoping to beat Calgary, no easy task. The Redblacks have beaten the Stamps just once (with two ties) since 2016. Overall, they are 2-9-2 vs. Calgary.

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STARTING STRONG: The Redblacks have led after the first quarter in each of their past three games — by a combined score of 24-4. BC was the last opponent to score a first-quarter TD — on June 30. For the season, they are plus-16 in first-quarter scoring, but minus-49 in second quarter. Over their last four games, they’ve been outscored 64-16 in the second quarter. On the other side, the Stampeders have been outscored 94-66 (minus-28) in the first half but are great closers, with a 123-53 edge (plus-70) after halftime.

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THE JAELON FACTOR: Redblacks receiver Jaelon Acklin leads the CFL in receiving yards with 687 and in per-game average at 98.1. He’s on a streak of three straight 100-plus-yard games. The last time a CFL player had three straight was Hamilton’s Bralon Addison in September of 2019. The last player with four or more in a row was Duke Williams — June-July, 2018 (five straight).

THE KICKING CONTEST: Calgary’s Rene Paredes has moved closer to Ottawa’s Lewis Ward in the all-time field goal rankings. Paredes is a career-best 95.5 per cent on 21-of-22 tries this season, moving him up to 87.6 per cent for his career. Ward, 19-of-23 in 2022, is still ahead at 88.8 per cent.

CALEB’S SLINGING: Redblacks QB Caleb Evans completed a career-high 25 passes two weeks ago and has gone 49-of-69 over his last two games. He’s also not making mistakes; he has a current streak of 90 passes without an interception.

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Ottawa DE Lorenzo Mauldin IV vs. Calgary QBBo Levi Mitchell

Mauldin, a defensive end who’s in his first season with the Redblacks, has six of his seven sacks in the last four games. While Mitchell may not be the MVP candidate he was for so many seasons and maybe he doesn’t have the same touch he once did on the long ball, he’s still good. In six games, he’s got 1,518 yards passing with seven touchdown tosses and three interceptions. Despite a 4-2 record in 2022, his career winning percentage (.781) remains the best in CFL history. Mitchell is 8-2-2 in his career vs Ottawa with a remarkable TD to INT Ratio of 19-5.

There were seven lead changes in Calgary’s 35-28 loss to Winnipeg Saturday. How often does that happen? How about in just 23 of the 5,822 CFL games going back to 1907 — that’s once every 253 games … In Calgary’s six games, only one team has held a field position edge (Hamilton, Week 2). The Stamps lead the CFL with an average starting point of their own 40-yard line. Ottawa ranks eighth, with starts on average at their own 33 … The Redblacks shut out the Argos in the 2nd half of a 23-13 win Sunday, forcing two turnovers and three punts in five Argos’ possessions … Ottawa RB William Powell is just 69 rushing yards away from 5,000 for his career. He would be the 43rd player to get to 5,000 … The Stampeders rank No. 2 in the CFL, allowing just seven sacks. Ottawa is No. 4 with 16.

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OUR TAKE: Redblacks 27, Stampeders 17

Whoa! Yo lo se. I’m not only taking the Redblacks to cover the spread, I’m taking them to win — by a whopping 10. Crazy? Maybe. But circumstances have Ottawa facing a team that’s missing lots of key parts, including running back Ka’Deem Carey, DB Tre Roberson and center Sean McEwen. It’s not even a certainty their head coach — Dave Dickenson (COVID protocol) — will be here for the game.

STAT PACK:

Points For 21.7 (6)

Points Against 25.4 (6)

Yards Passing 282 (4)

Yards Rushing 94 (4)

Net Offence 357 (3)

Net Offence Against 381 (9)

Calgary

Points For 31.5 (2)

Points Against 24.5 (4)

Yards Passing 267 (6)

Yards Rushing 116 (2)

Net Offense 375 (2)

Net Offence Against 356 (6)

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